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Noah
 Noah Gutierrez
 7 Months

Audrey

Audrey Strauss
20 Months

kim

Alyssa Strauss
3 Years Old

Andy

Andy Strauss
7 Years Old
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Glenn and Kim

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2008 Looking Ahead
It is time to fill you in on our plans for 2008.  It looks like it will be even more challenging than 2007!  But please allow Kim and me a moment to thank the Lord for how He has filled 2007 with so many reminders of His presence:

  -Our daughter Allison and Daniel had their first son, Noah, born in June born with a blocked kidney.  Many of you prayed and he is fully recovered from surgery for a blocked ureter.  He was so cute at Christmas!

-The Africa Mercy was deployed to Africa and Glenn was able to do the very first surgery on board in July in Liberia.   With two operating rooms for eye patients, more can be done than ever before.

-Many Liberians (including at least 15 "pastors") started a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and many more received the love of Jesus for the first time as they where cared for by people from all over the world coming together to serve them in Jesus name.

-We received two large financial gifts in addition to all the ongoing gifts that made it possible for us to take care of our extensive missions travels costs plus our medical needs, our first vacation in three years, and our aging house! Roofs are necessary, but expensive!

-Glenn completed development of a comprehensive strategy for Mercy Ships that should guide us through the next 5 to 10 years.  This was a two year project that Glenn began developing when he accepted the position as VP of Programs for Mercy Ships. All the leadership of Mercy Ships has approved and we are on the way! Click Here for those who are interested in reading it!

-We (mostly Glenn) got over his big scare when Kim developed a serious African viral illness while he was away from the ship and unable to contact her.  Kim has fully recovered and hopefully won't have another patient throw up on her in the future!

-Glenn has been making new and timely strategic connections outside Mercy Ships this year that will really help expand the kingdom impact of Mercy Ships including Christian Medical Association and Telemedicine.

-We did experience the sorrow of our youngest daughter Jessilynn's 3 children being permanently taken away from her.  But even in the grief there has been unexplainable peace and gladness that these children are safely in a Christian home now and we have been able to keep going.

-Glenn is invited to assist the government in South Africa with developing a plan for meeting the surgical eye needs of the indigenous tribes that are overwhelming the health system there (South Africa is one of the few African nations that has a decent health system already but is now unable to handle the population growth in the tribes).  Pray for discernment and opportunities to share our faith.

-Pray for Glenn as he meets with the leadership of the Christian Medical and Dental association and other organizations about meeting the needs for Liberian medical education.  Pray that doors will open.

-Glenn will be serving as a visiting expert eye surgeon at the Lighthouse for Christ in Mombassa, Kenya in February.  Kim will work with pre and postop patients.  Please pray for  wisdom about traveling in the current conditions in Kenya.  Our contacts in Mombassa report relative quiet but high degree of tension.   You may be interested in the recent news reports aboutthe violence in Kenya at this link  (click here).

-Pray for wisdom and clarity of purpose as Glenn deals with governmental and academic partnerships for the development of a telemedicine system for the west African region beginning in Liberia as the test site. 

-Pray as we return to Liberia to begin implementing the new Mercy Ships program strategy which includes our usual surgical work but also includes work with the government on developing health care access at the community and national level.   

-Please pray for the Lord to superintend Mercy Ships as changes are made in the organizational structure.  It is likely that Glenn's role will change but we are not sure exactly what this will mean.

-Our daughter Allison is expecting her second child!  Pray for her strength, health, and widsom in preparing for another so soon!

-Our son Jonathan is considering furthering his education at culinary school in Austin.  Pray that he will walk in the Lord's way.

-Our oldest son Jason and his wife Betsy (who does this newsletter by the way!) as they seek God for wisdom and direction for their family. 

   We are constantly reminded that we could not do this without all of you standing with us and we continue to ask the Lord's blessing as He uses you to expand His kingdom.  We will keep you informed as events unfold.

 

Thank you again!

Glenn and Kim Strauss